Boston University School of Law

David Rod (’12), Human Rights Externship (Geneva)


David Rod (’12) enrolled in the Semester-in-Practice Program to work in Geneva's Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The unit in which Rod worked focused on complementary protection of persons of concern to UNHCR, such as stateless persons, returnees, and certain groups of internally displaced persons.

Specifically, Rod monitored treaty body reviews of states, and reported to the UNHCR staff on country-specific findings and advancements in international human rights law, also monitoring the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review process.

Rod was pleasantly surprised when his Semester-in-Practice position was extended into a summer internship.

“The summer was great,” explains Rod. “I was able to get to know staff outside of the Human Rights Unit and received a lot of very interesting opportunities.  I started doing assignments directly for the director of International Protection, Volker Türk.  It was exciting to get to work with someone whose writings I had read before, and the assignments were always interesting.”

Rod also appreciated the opportunity to live in Geneva. 

“The city comes to life, come June.  Everyone flocks to the lake, with constant concerts and festivals taking place.”

Rod was so highly regarded during his time with UNHCR that the UN offered him the opportunity to work in Bangkok, Thailand, for a year prior to his graduation from BU Law in 2012. Upon finishing his degree, Rod received a BU Law Public Service Fellowship to work full-time with Asylum Access in Ecadour. Currently he is working in Cairo, Egypt doing resettlement work with St. Andrew’s Refugee Services.